Tuesday, July 24, 2012

No Alcohol Zone in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Group discussions about cultural differences and values as well as cultural sensitivity can be based around images such as this.

While in Chiang Mai I picked up a local magazine and read an article, written in English, about the local teenagers' increasing thirst for alcohol.  If this is the reason for the sign it seems odd that that it should be written in both Thai and English.  A bi-lingual sign suggests a bi-lingual target group.

What's interesting to me is the temple in the not-so-distant background, encouraging the discussion to involve attitudes toward religion across different cultures.  Included in that discussion could be the relationship between alcohol and religion, the positive or negative view of religion or alcohol or both, the separation or integration of everyday life and religion...  The list goes on. 

For an intermediate or pre-intermediate EFL group discussion this could simply be an opportunity to express personal opinions or experiences, using appropriate target language, but for an advanced group who realize that understanding a culture is an essential pathway to understanding a language, this could certainly be an opportunity to investigate the differences between East and West, and more specifically US / British/ Australian etc attitudes toward drink and religion compared to those of the Thais.


  1. Public transport in Chiang Mai is unusual in that it does not include a bus service visit The 30-minute fare into town cost us 60 Baht, plus the standard 50-Baht airport tax (payable at the airport)

    1. I welcome comments that are relevant to the posts or subject matter of this blog. Perhaps you'd like to explore this point in a follow-up comment?